Mohloai Mpesi & Mojabeng Moalosi
The Lesotho Police Staff Association (LEPOSA) has rubbished claims made by the Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro that the association has morphed into a trade union which challenges the leadership of the police service.
Majoro presented a report of findings by a ministerial task team committee which was set up to investigate issues of police instability at a media briefing in Maseru earlier this week.
Majoroâ€™s task team of ministers comprised Minister of Police Mamoipone Senauoane, Minister in the Prime Ministerâ€™s Office Prince Maliehe, Minister of Justice and Law Nqosa Mahao, Minister of Police and Public Service Kemiso Mosenene.
Besides the point of transforming into a trade union, Majoro said the other findings of his committee is that the association has attracted interests of political parties and challenges the authority of the Commissioner of Police over the members of LEPOSA executive.
â€œThe committee observed that LEPOSA has however morphed into a classical trade union and often challenges the authority of the Commissioner of police over members of the LEPOSA executive. As LEPOSA is open to all ranks in the LMPS, the association has also been vulnerable to infiltration of power struggle,â€ he said.
The association rubbished the premierâ€™s report yesterday at a counter media briefing held at the A.M.E Hall in Maseru saying they are neither a trade union nor do they challenge the authority of the Police Commissioner.
â€œIt is not true that LEPOSA has morphed into a classical trade union. It is further denied that the LEPOSA is challenging the authority of the Commissioners but we are fighting in the Courts of law the acts of ignominy in the Police Force where criminals do as they please.
Majoro said the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) lack investigative skills as they beat the evidence out of the suspect.
Over 100 civilians have died as a gesture of police brutality, with the infamous norm designed to defend the police that â€œthe suspect died during interrogation.â€
Apart from lack of probing expertise, the committee found that external political influence has also snooped in the police services, thus polarising the relations from the upper rank to the last.
Majoro stated that among others is promotion and appointment which is one of the major causes of instability within the police stations, conflicts within the management of the services, as well as the role of Lesotho Police Staff Association (LEPOSA).
He further slammed hard on the intrusion of external politicians whose meddling in police operations disrupts peace and promotes instability in the country.
He said it is going to be a mountain to climb to remedy the reigning hatred and police brutality birthed by politiciansâ€™ snooping in the police.
The committee reported that the six per cent increment to the police salary which was promised by the Pakalitha Mosisili-led government but was rather withheld, caused mayhem in the police.
â€œWell-established and accepted promotion practices and appointments in the Lesotho Mounted Police Services have in recent times been substituted by seemingly unilateral or politically motivated decision-making practices. Some of these have been successfully questioned in the courts of law by LEPOSA or resulted in generalised dissatisfaction in the police,â€ he said.
â€œAccusations and counter-accusations of mal-administration, commissions of crime, favouritism and open disdain of each other within the top brass of the LMPS are rife. External politics and considerable politicisation of the LMPS have severely polarised relations within the service and certainly within the top management of the police services,â€ he said.